Know Before You Go • Each weekend, skim through all area store fliers – Where are the best sales clustered? – Where are items from your shopping list on sale or well-priced? – Do you notice any Loss Leaders – items that are priced below cost? • Maintain a Price Book of items that you buy most often, and only stock up when an item’s price hits bottomDriving to everystore adds up; a – Every time you find a lower price, add it to yourquick local trip Price Bookcosts around 75¢
Coupons! … Stacking STACKING EXAMPLE: • This week, Ken’s salad dressing is marked down to $1 at Stop & Shop • Last Sunday’s paper had a coupon for $1 off 2 bottles • This week’s circular has Dollar Doublers, so you get $2 off 2• Newspaper inserts come out on Sunday, and coupons often overlap with that week’s store sales – Coupons also come in free newspapers during the week – Online coupons can be found at SmartSource.com, Coupons.com, and supermarket and manufacturers’ sites – Manufacturers also send great coupons if you contact them about a bad (or good!) experience FREE!
Coupons! … Organizing & Swapping SWAPPING EXAMPLE: Be prepared: • This week, a $5 large box of Golden Grahams is marked down to 4/$8 at Keep your Shop-Rite shopping list, • Last Sunday’s paper had a coupon for calculator, and $1 off 2 boxes of Golden Grahams coupon organizer • Swap for a second coupon and use them both in your car• Organize coupons in envelopes or a small file folder – Sample categories: Freezer, Fridge, Canned, Baking Needs, Condiments, Beverages, Kids, Pets, Household, Health, Beauty, Retailers / Restaurants• Swap coupons to get more than one of those you most need – then bulk buy – Usually you can use more than one coupon if you are buying multiple items $1.50 / BOX!
Coupons! … Rebate Offers REBATE EXAMPLE: Most Rite • This week, Johnson’s Baby Wash is Aid rebate $2.99 at Shop-Rite items also • SmartSource.com had a $1 coupon go on sale • Shop-Rite is offering a refund-with- for one purchase of $1 off your next trip week out of the month• Rite-Aid usually has a few Loss Leader items a month with its Single-Check Rebate program – Wait until the Rebate item goes on sale – then stack the sale, preferably with a coupon, too – During the holidays, Rite Aid rewards your spending in gift certificates – from $5 to $50 – Most drugstore chains have 99¢! similar programs
In-store Tips• Store brands are usually the best deal for most staples – Make sure that a brand-name item isn’t cheaper with a sale and coupon• Bring along your Price Book so that you can make sure that impulse buy is real deal – Use a calculator to see if the big package is actually cheaper per ounce• Weigh bulk bags of produce – some are heavier (or lighter) than labeled• The usual suspects – Stick to the sides of the store – Don’t shop hungry – Don’t bring the kids – Eat seasonally DON’T FORGET HOLIDAY SALES Cabbage 17¢/lb. 71% off Sweet potatoes 49¢/lb. 50% off Campbell’s Cream of Mushroom 39¢ 78% off
Pros & Cons of Local StoresShop-Rite• Best sale prices overall, but regular prices are high, especially on frozen foods• Best long-term “special” on organic milk ($4.99/gallon), but regular milk is overpriced• Double coupons up to 99¢; usually a four-item limit• Meat is well-priced but often out of stock; best prices on ground turkey• Sales run Saturday-Friday Pathmark and A&P• Usually these stores have the same or very similar sales• Double coupons up to 99¢; note purchase requirements or item limits for sales• Fewer “natural” choices, e.g. whole-wheat flour or gallons of organic milk• Additional “loadable” e-coupons available on their websites• Sales run Friday-Thursday
Pros & Cons of Local StoresStop & Shop• Highest sale prices but regular prices are decent• Excellent private-label organics line, Nature’s Promise• Double coupons up to 99¢, with quarterly $1 Doublers in mail-only circulars• Sales run Friday-ThursdayWegmans• Few sales on name-brand items, but regular prices are decent, especially on frozen foods• Excellent private-label line with incredible sales: baking needs, soda, tomatoes, frozen veggies• Best regular price on organic milk ($4.99/gallon)• Produce and meat tend to be more expensive but good quality• Sales tend to be staggered long-term, lasting 1-12 months• Double coupons up to 99¢• All local prices available on website• Sales run Saturday-Friday
Pros & Cons of Local StoresWal-mart and Target• Fewer sales but best prices on household and health/beauty items• Many very inexpensive private-label options• No double coupons• Sales run Sunday-SaturdayRite Aid• Sales weekly, but not as good as they used to be• Online rebate program makes some items free• No double coupons• Often runs out of sale items• Rain checks written at all hours• Sales run Sunday-SaturdayCostco• Good everyday meat and produce prices for weeks when no stores have sales• No non-Costco coupons accepted; extra coupons available at membership desk• Excellent private-label line and major discounts on home services and drugs• Coupons are unofficially interchangeable; Rx program is free for nonmembers• Limited hours / crowded / $50-$100 fee / huge packages / Amex or Debit only• Strong return policy; 2% Executive refund available up to $500• Sales run for approximately three weeks at a time, every four to six weeks